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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Doctors Spike the NEHTA / DoHA Plans for E-Health.

The following appeared today in the Herald Sun.

Doctors stand firm over e-health costs

  • Ben Packham
  • From: Herald Sun
  • February 16, 2010 12:00AM

A HI-tech health plan to deliver better treatment to patients could be derailed by a standoff between doctors and the Rudd Government.

The introduction of electronic patient records would be the biggest health reform in a generation, delivering an estimated $8 billion in savings over the next decade.

But the Government is refusing to guarantee compensation for doctors who will be expected to deliver the scheme on the ground.

The Australian Medical Association yesterday warned of a "bumpy ride" if doctors were expected to foot the bill.

"Where the doctor has to do stuff that is above and beyond what is necessary for their internal practice, there are various costs that need to be met," AMA president Andrew Pesce said.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners delivered a similar message last week, demanding "funding for general practices to support required software and business changes".

In a 2007 stoush with Government, doctors won an 18c-per-transaction sweetener to process Medicare rebates by Eftpos.

More here:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/doctors-stand-firm-over-e-health-costs/story-e6frf7jo-1225830686827

This is a serious problem for e-Health in Australia. Unless you have the doctors and their staff on board e-Health will go exactly no-where.

The Government and NEHTA need a serious rethink and fast.

They are just so stubborn and stupid. It defies belief that they are imagining the doctors will pick up the costs for a program that mostly benefits patients and the Government. It just won’t happen.

David.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The National E-Health Transition Authority's Dr Mukesh Haikerwal said the comments (below by Department of Health secretary Jane Halton) were "simplistic and naive".

Department of Health secretary Jane Halton told a Senate committee last week that it was expected patients would drive e-health take-up by putting pressure on GPs. "One of the things I genuinely hope, quite frankly, is that patients will go to the doctor and say: 'Why can't we get this stuff electronically now? I understand there is the potential. Why can't we'?" she said.

….. “simplistic and na├»ve” …. . sums it up precisely.

Anonymous said...

Ms Halton sems to think that if you stir up the patients they will pressure the doctors and it will all just simply happen. Well, the fact of the matter is she is just plain wrong. What will happen is that stiring up the patients with all the new media spin that is scheduled to happen any day now will have a maximum downside effect of creating untold frustration and disillusionment across the broad community, increasing scepticism and an attitude of "come back in five years when you have something to show us".

And in the interim the government spin machine will "spin around" to say it's not our (the government's) fault - it's the doctors who are to blame for being slack and behind the times and for putting patient care at risk by not keeping their technology up-to-date and that in turn will result in the doctors getting beaten around the ears by their patients. But it won't advance ehealth one iota because no-one owns the problem.

Bruce Farnell said...

General Practice is a small business with increasing costs and limited ability to increase income. However, it has been my observation that the majority of GP clinics will spend money on IT and other systems where there is a real business($), GP time and/or patient care benefit. Unless these criteria are met - you might as well forget about it.

Unless the government takes a real leadership role in the roll-out of e-Health initiatives such as shared patient records the chance of this going anywhere is zero.